ATHLETICS | St Gerard’s AC athletes shine at various different events

Dundalk St Gerard’s AC’s Patience Jumbo-Gula (back left), Kate O’Connor, Maria Smith and Ellen McBride (front row, middle two) with Kelly Breen, Sarah Morgan, Sarah Clarke and Gemma McCrave of Blackrock AC who formed the victorious junior and intermediate St Vincent’s All Ireland winning team

It has been a busy time for the athletes of Dundalk St Gerard’s AC over the past week or so.

There was something for everyone in the varied events that took place over the last week and a half, ranging from the ever entertaining and novel Blackrock Beach Races to the Louth Community Games and the red hot competition of the All Ireland Schools Championships in Tullamore.

All-Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships

On Saturday last, June 3rd, the All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships took place in Tullamore.

Five of the club’s athletes were in action, representing St Vincent’s Secondary School. Lining up were Maria Smith, Ellen McBride, Patience Jumbo-gula, Kate O’Connor and Caitlin Mulholland.

Caitlin ran a great race in the senior girls steeplechase, just running out of steam over the closing stages but gaining more experience in an event that she has only took up recently.

Kate was in majestic form on the day, firstly throwing an impressive 13.97m to take gold in the intermediate girls shot put.

In the javelin, she continued her impeccable form with a fantastic championship best performance of 45.65m to take another gold.

Kate O’Connor in action in the intermediate girls javelin at the All Ireland Schools Championships in Tullamore

Patience Jumbo-gula ran a great 100m in the intermediate girls final to finish fourth after a slow start and is looking like she is gradually coming back to her best form.

In the junior relay, Ellen McBride and Maria Smith were on top form alongside the two Sarahs, Clarke and Morgan, of Blackrock to storm to victory for the second successive year.

Ellen was flying on the back straight and when Maria took the baton there was only going to be one outcome when she delivered a knockout blow, unleashing a devastating turn of speed on the anchor leg.

In the intermediate relay, Kate and Patience were no less impressive along with Gemma McCrave and Kelly Breen of Blackrock.

With a brilliantly fast second leg, Kate put the team in pole position and on the anchor leg Patience took the baton in front and drew further away from the opposition which included the individual 100m and 200m champion to win impressively.

Community Games

On Sunday, June 4th, some of the club’s athletes represented the St Joseph’s area of Dundalk at the Louth Community Games finals in Drogheda.

St Gerard’s AC’s Ciara Cunningham (centre) who won the U12 girls 100m at the Louth Community Games finals in Drogheda

In the U10 girls sprint, Grainne Moran was an impressive winner with Zaria Faapito running well. Tara O’Connor stormed to victory in the 200m with Enya Silkena running well for second and Doireann Conlon showing up well in fourth while Finn O’Connor ran well for the boys.

In the U12 girls sprint, Ciara Cunningham recorded a great victory in the 100m, showing continued improvement from her Louth Championship performances. Elahna Faapito had another good outing, taking third in the ball throw and in the boys U12 ball throw, Andrew Rosbotham once again showed he is a force to be reckoned with with a great victory.

Maria Smith was victorious in the U16 girls 100m and Jamie Wynne and George Maas ran great races to take second and third in the U16 boys 100m.

Blackrock Beach Races

Making their debut in the U8 girls race at the Blackrock Beach Races were Chloe Cheshire and Eire McCrystal.

Both girls were brilliant and made the medals with Chloe in fourth and Eire in sixth, fantastic performances in their first outing.

In the U8 boys, Ben Eccles was in the medals with Senan McEnteggart and Cillian Mullen running well. Doireann Conlon ran another super race in the U10 girls to take second with Ellie McVeigh, Sadbh Branigan, Dara McEnteggart and Nicole Mulholland also doing well.

Rian McCrystal and Adam Eccles put in a good shift in the U10 boys while in the U12 girls race, Enya Silkena flew home to take second and Nicola McElroy had a great run to make the medals too with Mia Keely and Molly Whately giving great efforts.

Hayden Mulholland, Aaron Clarke, Ethan Mullen kept going well in the U12 boys and Caitlin Mulholland was in the medals with silver in the U18 girls race.

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